Making your Facebook news feed work for you

As with the rest of the internet I believe Facebook can be used as a force for good, or a force for evil. My Facebook news feed can be, a useful, inspiring source of information, or a depressing place of material adverts and negativity. You have more of a say on what you see than you might think. Here are some simple steps I use to help curate a more conscious intentional FB news feed.

Privacy

I believe Facebook does not really want your privacy settings to be too high. When they update the T’s & C’s your privacy settings can change without your realising. There may also be new options that were not possible when you set up the account. Check these are still what you need.

First click on the drop down arrow on the right, choose “settings” near the bottom.

Use the “Privacy” and Timeline and tagging” options on the left of the screen

These are your privacy options, look at each on and decide what is best for you.

These are your timeline options, see what each one does and what will work for your circumstances

Friends

Is your news feed full of people you met once at a party five years ago and haven’t seen since? These updates are stopping you seeing what the people, and pages, you do care about are saying. Review your friend list and consider what works for you. Decide on your work friend policy.  Mine is no work friends while I am working there. Once I leave I add those I have a stronger connection with than just work.

But

There are people you need to keep on your list for family, or political reasons, but don’t need to/ want to see their updates. This is a common reason for keeping someone as a FB friend. They maybe a relative, or parter of a friend. It could be awkward to de-friend them, but you don’t like what they use FB for. Although it is good to experience different points of views there is a limit we all have. Yours could be constant cat videos, many pictures of what they are eating, or something more serious like racist or sexist language.  What are they adding to your social media experience?  Hide their updates without de-friending.  There are two ways of doing this.

If you are having a review of everyone then;

On the side of your news feed, under the heading “Explore”, click on “Friends Lists”

 

Click on “See all friends”

 

For each person clicking on the “Friends” botton next to their name brings up these options.  You can choose to put them in a list, turn off notifications of their updates, or unfriend them.

If you are changing what you see ad hoc i.e. come to the end of your tether with someone or something! Every post on your news feed, has a small arrow in the top right corner with options.  If you change your mind later then you can change it back using the process above.  I imagine the advert hiding is permanent, but that has to be a good thing!

You see this when you click on the arrow on a adverts post.

And this when you click on the arrow next to a friends post.

Pages

Have you been liking pages of famous people, brands, bands, shops and causes since you joined FB? You probably have a lot. Goodness knows how the FB algorithms work on this. I suspect it is worked by advertising, and revenue, and not what you are really interested in. Work through your list and unfollow / unlike those that are no longer of interest to you. For every page that you have a real interest, or passion for, click on the “see first” option. This will mean that you see the posts from these pages in your news feed. You can always edit this again if you are getting too much.

On the left of your home screen, click on “pages” under the heading “Explore”.

This icon is helpfully in the top right of the screen.

This menu will show you all the pages you like and you click on the ones you don’t want anymore. Putting the cursor on the name will bring up an brief overview if you don’t remember what the page is about!

Once you have got out of the way the ones you are no longer interested in, you can look at the list and see which ones are most important to you.  For these ones, open the page and choose the “see first option”.  All others should be on “default”.

The drop down arrow next to “Following” will get you this menu.

This might take a bit of time the first time you do it.  Break it into sections to make it easier.  If you do it regularly, as often as works for you, then it won’t be too bad.  I do this process around once a year, but also ad hoc as I need to.  It gives me more time to engage with the people, and pages, I care about, wherever in the world they are based.

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